Philosophy of science

As an academic, I find it important to have a good understanding of Philosophy of Science. In 2015, I took my first Philosophy of Science course in the first semester of my PhD training at the University of Agder (UiA). PhD candidates from all faculties (including music, medicine, engineering, business etc.) of the university took the same course together, which is quite unique. At the beginning, it was a bit weird to me that PhD candidates from such diverse background takes the same course together, but now after few years I understand why and I believe it should be done like this everywhere.

While doing the course, it was quite difficult for me to understand the concepts, which partially was due to all the difficult words that I never heard before. But later I read quite a few books and articles, watched many youtube videos and also wrote a bit about Philosophy of Science in maritime research. The more I dived into Philosophy of Science, the more I loved it and my understanding of the purpose of education and knowledge became clearer.

Philosophy of Science deals with what is knowledge, how is knowledge created and who should knowledge be used. The are many philosophical paradigms but four major one. All serious researchers are actually affiliated with a philosophical paradigm whether the know it or not, and it is also important to be associated with one. Because our philosophical stance shapes how we think, how we do research and how use use scientific knowledge.

As of now, I believe my philosophical stance is “critical realism”. This is because I believe in plurality of truth, encourage data triangulation and use of mixed methods. I believe that there are contexts without a single truth but we can use multiple data sources and methods to get close to the truth even if we cannot find the exact truth.

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